Trump seeks to sell shutdown, trade policies to farmers

President Donald Trump urged farmers today to stick with him even as many grapple with the impact of his trade war with China and the partial government shutdown.

“No one understands more than our famers that the tough decisions we make today will reap dividends down the road,” Trump said at the convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation in New Orleans, adding their “greatest harvest” is yet to come.

“We’re doing trade deals that are going to get you so much business, you’re not going to believe it,” he said.

Trump said the American heartland largely supported him in 2016 and pledged that his policies would ultimately help the agriculture industry despite short-term pain.

The president devoted much of his hourlong address to defending his decision to hold out for billions of dollars to build his long-promised wall at the southern border, which has resulted in an impasse with Congress and the longest partial government shutdown in history.

Trump said the wall was needed to cut down on illegal immigration, even though border crossings have fallen in recent years, and he said that it would lead to immigration reform that would help farmers get the workers they need for their fields.

“You need people to help you with the farms,” Trump said. “It’s going to be easier for them to get in.”

Despite Trump’s assurances, many farmers are feeling the pinch from his policies. The Agriculture Department is scrambling to blunt the impact of the now 24-day government shutdown on America’s farmers. Read the full story.

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